Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Divine Protection

There are many different theories and concerns among believers about how to have God's protection. Some think it is important to pray Ephesians 6 everyday where it talks about putting on the full armor of God. Others, mainly some Catholics, are involved in a devotion that has a prayer to "blind the devil". 

If I had to choose, I'd at least choose the first option because it is biblical. Nowhere in scripture does it say we have the authority to "blind" Satan. It does say, however that Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). Also, if we step outside of our realm of authority, that is a sure way NOT to be protected.

However, I would like to share with you a more excellent way to have God's protection. In order to do so, I need to mention circumcision.

In the Old Testament, physical circumcision was required of God's people. Physical circumcision is a procedure that initially leaves a man rather vulnerable in the natural. Circumcision was used in the Old Testament as a Covenant with God, declaring that their trust was in Him alone and not in themselves. 

In the New Testament, specifically Romans 2:29, Paul talks about having our hearts circumcised. What does that mean? I believe it has to do with having our own self-protection stripped away. David in the OT had the right idea when he refused to wear Saul's armor, leaving him vulnerable in the natural and he put his trust in God alone to defeat Goliath.

Another thing to consider is that the devil is God's devil. The devil is not able to do anything that God doesn't allow. Sometimes God will allow the devil to humble a person. I am currently reading the book of Samuel. In Samuel 18:10, it says that, "an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul." In the book of Job, God allowed Satan to test Job. In the New Testament, specifically in 1 Corinthians 5:5, Paul talks about handing a person over to Satan for the "destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved." 

God's heart is ultimately for us to be protected and it can happen sovereignly but it is usually a process that does not happen overnight. Gaining God's protection sometimes can take a lifetime of us learning to abide in Christ as we yield and walk with God in humility. This process, is accelerated through trials, where we learn to let go of self-protection and find protection under the shelter of God's wings (Psalm 91). As we learn to find shelter and protection, tucked away under God's wing, we become invisible to the enemy and we become clothed with the armor of God mentioned in Ephesians 6. The armor of God; helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, shield of faith, shoes of the Gospel is ALL Christ! It is being clothed with Christ! 

That is our goal and happens as we learn to abide. John 15:4 says, "Abide in me as I abide in you." The way to abide in Christ is to let go of everything that hinders us; our self-protection, our fear, our sadness, our idols, etc. and learn to rest. 

Exodus 14:14 - The Lord will fight for you and you have only to be still.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

A God Who Draws Near

I know it has been awhile since I have blogged. A couple of years ago I felt led by the Lord to create a YouTube channel, however I have not been very consistent with it. I am a stay at home, homeschool mom, so there are many days where I only leave my house to go to the grocery store and pick up my son. Therefore, fixing my hair and putting on make-up is not a major priority. Today happens to be a lazy Sunday and it works out better for me to write out my thoughts rather than do a video.

This brings me to my next point and one that lines up with the fast approaching Lenten season. This morning in prayer I was confessing to the Lord that in my own humanness, when given the choice, I often choose comfort and the path of least resistance. I was also however, thanking Him that he has often chosen a different path for me, for narrow is the road that often leads to life (Matt. 7: 13-14). Because he has chosen a different path for me than the one I would have chosen, I am not the same person I was twenty or even ten years ago. 

This became abundantly clear to me yesterday after my husband and I did an inner-healing session with someone. I led it and afterwards my husband commented on how merciful and compassionate I was. This is only because of a work I've allowed the Lord to do in my own heart through trials, disappointments and various sufferings. The Lord has truly become my refuge and my shelter (Psalm 91).

Jesus is alive and so desires to draw near to his people. The New Testament talks about our hearts becoming circumcised. This means that our own self protection is stripped away so He can become our protection. Many however, including God's own children, are afraid of letting go of their own defenses and afraid of a God who draws near. They want him on their own terms, a God they can control and a God they can keep at arms length. I have felt the Lord's heart on this and it grieves Him!

If people only knew what kind of a God he is! A bruised reed He will not break and a smoldering wick, He will not snuff out (Is. 42:3). He longs to draw us close and to draw near to us. He desires to make our hearts His home (foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head - Matt. 8:20).

Recently the Lord shared an image with me of the kind of protection he wants to offer His people. He said, "Lisa, do you know why frogs have a white underbelly?" I didn't, so I Googled it. The reason frogs have a white underbelly is because when that frog is floating in the water with the sun shining on it, it becomes virtually invisible to predators (Matt. 6:26 - if God even cares about the birds of the air, how much more will he care for you). In the natural, that frog looks vulnerable as it is resting in the middle of the water. God thought of everything however and that frog is actually protected. In the same way, when we rest in the water of God's Spirit, in the shelter of the Most High, soaking in the presence of the Son, we also become invisible to the enemy, the devil. It is in this place where we can even enjoy a banquet in the midst of our enemies (Psalm 23).

Many have been hearing about the recent Asbury revival. It started through a group of college students who were hungry for a God that draws near and draw near he did! How much more of the Holy Spirit will He give those who ask (Luke 11:13).

My challenge to you this Lent is to pray for a greater hunger for God's presence. Also pray that you can let go of your own defenses and allow the God of all creation to draw near to you so you can experience his love in a way you have never experienced before!